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Paul Zimnisky: Natural diamonds face the risk of eroding their appeal if constantly discounted

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Edahn Golan: Lab-grown diamond prices to continue declining

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ADPA’s Ellah Muchemwa: G7 restrictions to bring extra costs from diamond mining to retail

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18 march 2024

Ivanhoe, DRC state miner set to restart Kipushi mine after 30 years of inactivity

18 january 2024

Ivanhoe Mines and the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) state-owned mining company, Gécamines, have signed a new joint venture agreement to restart the ultra-high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine.

The signing of the agreement heralds the beginning of a new era of production for Kipushi, which will resume operations 100 years after first opening in 1924 as the world’s richest copper mine.

“The restart of operations of a mine as emblematic as Kipushi after 30 years of inactivity is a strong signal of the desire and commitment of Gécamines and its partner, Ivanhoe Mines, to contribute to the DRC’s economic development,” said Gécamines chairperson Guy-Robert Lukama Nkunzi.

Gécamines will immediately increase its stake in Kipushi Holding and Kipushi Corporation (KICO) to 38%, then to 43% in 2027, strengthening its position in the joint venture. 

Kipushi Holding is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines, while 

Ivanhoe Mines’ founder and executive co-chairperson, Robert Friedland, said Kipushi is an extraordinary mineral endowment, holding not only the world’s richest zinc orebody but also significant quantities of copper, lead, silver, germanium, and gallium.

“There is no better place on our planet to build a mine. This makes the Central African Copperbelt and high-grade mines, like Kipushi and Kamoa-Kakula, strategically important worldwide, especially in light of the increasing fragmentation of supply chains and the growing demand for low-carbon-intensive strategic minerals,” he said.

“The project is [progressing] ahead of schedule, in line with our track record of operational excellence.”

Friedland said Kipushi’s restart follows the timely and cost-effective delivery of phases one and two at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex, with phase three ahead of schedule for first production in the third quarter of 2024.

Kipushi is expected to produce more than 250,000 tonnes of zinc annually over the first five years.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished